PostgreSQL vs MySQL: An Important Guide (2021)


SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It allows users to access and manipulate the data. A query language is a programming language that is designed to facilitate retrieving a specific set of information from the databases. In other words, SQL is the language of databases. Let’s go deep into understanding postgresql vs mysql. Some of the common database management systems that use SQL are as follows:

  • Sybase
  • Access
  • Ingres
  1. What is MySQL?
  2. What is PostgreSQL?
  3. History of PostgreSQL vs MySQL
  4. Why use PostgreSQL vs MySQL
  5. Features of MySQL?
  6. Features of PostgreSQL?
  7. Difference between PostgreSQL vs MySQL
  8. Disadvantages

1. What is MySQL?

It is an RDBMS and functions primarily on the relational database model. It is a very prominent and pervasive DBMS system. The name “My”, a feminine name, belongs to the daughter of Michael Widenius who is the co-founder of MySQL. MySQL’s source code is made available under the GNU General Public License. ORACLE Corp. owns and maintains this project. It also facilitates database administration and makes it increasingly flexible. 

2. What is PostgreSQL?

It is a zero cost and relational database management system that is open-source, emphasizes SQL compliance and extensibility. It is also known by the name of Postgres. It was developed in Berkeley at the Department of Computer Science, University of California. It provides hassle-free steps to set up and installs in the system. It provides dual support to both SQL and No SQL.  It is backed by more than 20 years of community development which has contributed to its high level of integrity, resilience, and veracity. 

3. History of PostgreSQL vs MySQL

  • MySQL

It was innovated by MySQL AB, a popular company in the country of Sweden, in the year 1995. ORACLE Corp. took over MySQL AB in the year 2010 for a whopping amount of 1 billion dollars. In 2013, MariaDB replaced MySQL for the majority of its distribution in the year 2013. In the same year, Monty Program AB amalgamated with MySQL. SkySQL Ab changed its name to MariaDB Corporation.

  • PostgreSQL

INGRES was developed and established in the year 1977. Later, in the year 1986, Michael Stonebraker along with his colleagues found Postgres.   During the intervening period of 1998-2001, GUC, Control of Join Syntax, MVCC, and Language Procedural Loader was additionally included. Later, PostgreSQL versions 8.4 and 9.0 were released in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

4. Why use PostgreSQL vs MySQL

  • MySQL

Supports unique features including scale-out, king-slave replication, etc. Supports a storage engine with a powerful memory for repeatedly used tables. The query cache is provided for statements that are used more often. Supports offload reporting, geographic data distribution, etc.  

  • PostgreSQL

It offers special features like point-in-time recovery, table-partitioning transaction-wise DDL, etc. It enables the user to utilize 3rd party key stores in a whole infrastructure of PKI. Supports 3DES, AES, and other data encryption algorithms. 

5. Features of MySQL?

  • It is a DBMS system that is community-driven.
  • Compliant with a variety of platforms, such as the standard of ANSI SQL. 
  • Independent modules having design structures with multiple layers.
  • 100% multi-threaded, and it uses Kernel threads.
  • The server is available in the embedded form of DB or a model of client-server.
  • Offers in-built tools for analysis of space and query elements.
  • It can handle a myriad quantity of data, ranging up to rows of 50 million or higher. 
  • Can run on many versions of Windows, as well as UNIX and OS-3.

6. Features of PostgreSQL?

  • Backed up by an active circle that supports its growth and development.
  • Most prominent substitute to DB2, Oracle, and SQL server.
  • MVCC supports a huge number of existing users.
  • Broad perspective reporting for reporting in the high-performance end.
  • Runs on all major OS platforms and supports modern applications like XML, JSON.
  • Efficient data storage facilitated by foreign keys.
  • Triggers or stored sequence of actions for programs and transactions that are highly complex. 
  • Reproduction for backup of data and reading scalability.

7. Difference between PostgreSQL vs MySQL

MySQL PostgreSQL
1.It is a Community-Driven DBMS. 1.  It is an object-relational database management system.
2. It only supports JSON. 2. It supports modern applications like JSON, XML, etc.
3. It performs well in both OLAP and OLTP systems. 3. Performs well while executing complex tasks.
4. It is only ACID-compliant when used with NDB and InnoDB. 4. It is wholly ACID-compliant.
5. It never supports views that are materialized. 5. It also supports materialized views.
6. Some of its prominent users include Uber, Twitter, Airbnb, etc. 6. Netflix, Instagram, Groupon, etc.

8. Disadvantages


  • Procedures are stored, but cannot be cached.
  • Difficult to maintain the privilege of users, since it does not provide proper support for roles. 
  • Pluggable Authentication module prevent centrally managed account.
  • System Catalogs are vulnerable due to risks of system crashes.
  • Transactions concerning the system catalog are not ACID compliant.


  • Bulk loading operations are bound around the system.
  • Plans requiring query execution are not planned.
  • Results cannot be obtained directly via Queries.
  • The data needs to be transferred or replicated to a new version.
  • No updates for major features.
  • Current external solutions demand a high learning curve.


To conclude, PostgreSQL is best suited for systems that require data warehousing or data analysis, or complex query execution.  On the other hand, MySQL is the best available choice for those projects which are based on the web and require a database solely for transactions related to data. Also, PostgreSQL does not require strict licensing as compared to MySQL which has proved its relevance and reliability on the other side. We hope you understood the overview for postgresql vs mysql.

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